Whilst the global luxury brands were able to crack the East Asian markets without really incorporating Asian designs into their collections, they have realised that such a tactic won’t work in a civilisation like India where the local design aesthetic still plays a central role how the elite like to dress. Therefore, as the number of Indian super-rich families (we call them ‘octopus’ families – see our blog: https://marcellus.in/blogs/the-octopus-ascends-the-rise-of-crazy-rich-indians/#) grows, global luxury brands are paying more attention to talented Indian fashion designers. Kartik Kumra is one such designer and Vogue’s profile article on him makes for a fascinating read:

“An economics student from the University of Pennsylvania, and with no formal fashion education, Kumra had hatched the idea of starting his label in 2021, fuelled by instinct more than anything else.

Considering his label’s boldly organic start—with its pilot offering having launched on the gaming interface Discord—his inclinations have served him well. The Gurugram-based brand has found a shelf at vetted retailing spaces like Ssense, with a number of eyeballs on Instagram for the work he puts out, with no PR gimmicks to cajole the audience…

Just over a year since he launched his label Karu Research in the middle of the pandemic, Kumra’s quilted jackets and ephemera—which began retailing at eight stores, including Mr Porter—can be found at an impressive 22 stores worldwide. And now, the founder of pandemic-born label Karu Research is fresh off his first show- case at Paris Menswear Fashion Week, which took place in January this year…

The brand’s celebrity clientele, such as rapper Kendrick Lamar—also an outcome of this organic growth—is a natural manifestation of each step that Kumra has taken so far….

Incredibly, to think that Lamar would be sporting kantha embroidery some day just goes to validate Kumra’s line of thought when it comes to the tectonic shifts in men’s style.”

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